Thursday, September 07, 2006

Experiences with International Travel from India

I was travelling to Hong Kong from Bangalore recently, this is just after the UK Incident.

It was not so good experience while going from Bangalore International Airport, as they were not at all prepared for the new security arrangements & also for the large crowed which generally gathers at the airport for all night flights.

I was standing in a queue for almost 4 hours till I reached the gate of the place :(. The check-in counter(all) was taking too much time to check-in as they installed some new system to improve check-in times :). I was surprised to see that there are was no one their at supervisor level to understand the difficulties of travellers & to give them good answer to their questions !!. The questions were :

  • Why so long time for check-in ? Ans : We implemented new system :)
  • My flight is just in next 10 minutes, how I am going to catch that ? Ans : No Answer
  • Is the flight schedule changes because of delay in check-in ? Ans : No Answer
As after the check-in we went to the Immigration Counters, there was similar scene there !!. No one was interested in letting the passengers know what's happening. Everybody was just trying to get themselves as fast as possible :)

There was only 1 x-ray machine as usual !!. Some Airline agents were trying to get passengers out of the security/immigration queue to speed-up, but in turn they were creating more chaos as it was not a co-ordinated effort at all.

It was disgusting to see the impressions of fellow passengers about India & specially Bangalore International Airport :(

I know this was a probably one-off incidence with so much of delay, but really not. As I have travelled many times from this airport & things are never smooth. There are always atleast 30 min. wait at each queue(Check-in, Immigration, Security).

When I reached HK Airport. The immigration was finished for 100 passengers in just 10 minutes with 8 officers only !!. It was good to see the speed at they were working.

On the other note, I got a surprise when I returned to Bangalore from Hong Kong, the total time I took from Plane exit gate to Airport exit was just 15 minutes(Passing thru Immigration, Baggage collection) !!

The reason was that I was first 5 in line while doing immigration. Also we had only our flight for some reason to arrive at that time :) ..Also luckily I got my baggage on the belt in 5 minutes.

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